25 August 2020

OLIVIER FRANÇOIS BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE FIAT NEW 500. ORDERS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE «LA PRIMA» HATCHBACK

  • On the day orders opened for the New 500 «la Prima» hatchback, Olivier François – President Fiat Brand Global – tells the story of the New 500 and its first test drive. The video is available at link
  • Orders are now open at all Fiat dealerships for the New 500 «la Prima» hatchback.
  • The New 500’s dealer tour of Italy continues: around 40 stops the full length of the peninsula to discover Fiat's new icon with zero CO2 emissions. The program will be extended to the French and German markets in September.

To truly understand the soul of a car, you need to drive it yourself. Jump on board, become familiar with the interiors, let yourself get caught up in the seat, take the steering wheel in your hands and start the car.
In the video presenting the test first drive, Olivier François – President Fiat Brand Global – wanted to take all fans of the 500 on board the New 500 «la Prima» in the best way possible, to be the first to experience the FCA city car with zero CO2 emissions, passing the symbolic Turin locations that have made history for Fiat’s icon.

“We usually take a new car onto the road for the first time with the cameras off. But for the New 500, I decided to take you with me! The first test drive of the New Fiat 500,” said Olivier François, “is a very special moment, even a slightly magical one. A ‘vision’ coming true. Teamwork taking shape. To tell the truth, it's also a very challenging time”. The head of Fiat therefore ‘takes’ the public on a voyage of discovery of the many wonders of the gem of beauty, innovation, technology and sustainability that is the New 500.

A thrilling journey, starting from the Mirafiori plant, where the New 500 is manufactured: in its 81 years, the Mirafiori complex has made history in the Italian and global automotive industry. Opened in 1939, the Turin plant marked the beginning of modern production for Fiat and is still one of the longest running European automotive factories. A new chapter now begins with the production of the third-generation Fiat 500: the Group has developed a new transformation, starting right from the beating heart of the complex and its production. Around 1,200 people will work solely on manufacturing the New 500, while the production capacity will be 80,000 units per year, which could increase as necessary. In total – between the costs of design, development and engineering and the construction of the production line – it represents an investment of over €700 million. Even better, the New 500 was created, designed and engineered right here in Turin: a product truly “Made at Fiat” and “Made in Turin”.

The next stage of the test drive on board the New 500 will be Lingotto, the former Fiat factory with a track on its roof, the site of pre-delivery quality testing on the first-generation Fiat 500. The factory has now been converted into a museum, the home of the Pinacoteca Agnelli art gallery. Its fourth floor hosts the “Virtual Casa 500”, an online exhibition to preview the full opening to the public of the Casa 500 in spring 2021.

Olivier François' journey aboard the electric 500 then continues along the boulevards of the regional capital at the foot of the Alps and ends on the Monte dei Cappuccini, close to the city center, on the right bank of the river Po, with its breathtaking views of the city and the Alps. An amazing place, to admire the clear blue sky of a gorgeous summer’s day. “Since the end of lockdown, we have all learned to appreciate life in the great outdoors even more and the preciousness of the environment around us,” continued the head of Fiat. “Preserving that environment is up to us, too.”

Just one more reason to opt for the New 500: beautiful, innovative and ecological. An environment-friendly car, one to meet the requirements of customers who wish to drive the car of the future, with its Italian taste and elegance. Orders opened in July for the “la Prima” cabrio, a resounding success, demonstrated by a steady increase in orders. From today at all Fiat dealerships, customers can now also order the New 500 «la Prima» hatchback: the 500 sedan with zero CO2 emissions.

The New 500 hatchback features a sophisticated panoramic glass sunroof: a veritable ‘window on the sky’, to flood the passenger compartment with light, improving comfort while driving and on-board wellbeing. As well as the panoramic sunroof, the rear of the New 500 «la Prima» hatchback stands out for its tailgate and a new, now more pronounced spoiler, to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The model is available in three exclusive liveries, inspired by the fundamental elements of nature: Ocean Green (pearlescent), reminiscent of the sea; Mineral Grey (metallic), for the Earth; and Celestial Blue (three-layer), for the sky. Extras include full LED headlights, 17” diamond-cut wheels, chrome-plated inserts on the windows and side panels, and dashboard and seat upholstery in eco-leather.

Fitted with the most innovative Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) as standard – including iACC (Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control), to brake or accelerate in response to any obstacle it encounters; Lane Centering, to keep the vehicle in the center of the lane, provided the markings are correctly detected; Intelligent Speed Assist, which reads detectable speed limits and recommends applying them; Urban Blind Spot, using ultrasonic sensors to monitor blind spots and advise you with a triangular warning light if any other vehicles are approaching; Attention Assist, which provides warnings on the display, recommending that you stop and take a break when you are tired; and 360° sensors, providing a drone view to avoid any obstacles when parking or performing complex maneuvers – the New 500 «la Prima» hatchback is the first car in its segment to feature level 2 autonomous driving and introduces the new UConnect 5 infotainment system: 7” TFT Display, 10.25” Touch Screen NAV, DAB Radio, Wireless CarPlay / Android Auto, with the Uconnect Box pre-installed as standard to provide a suite of innovative connected Uconnect Services – making their debut in the New 500 «la Prima» cabrio and hatchback – including ‘over-the-air’ map updates and the option to interact with your car using Amazon Alexa voice assistant technology.

But it's the range and reduced charging time that make the difference: the lithium-ion batteries with 42 kWh capacity give the New 500 a range of up to 320 km in the WLTP combined cycle and up to 458 km in the urban cycle. To optimize charging time, the New 500 «la Prima» hatchback includes DC fast charge at up to 85 kW as standard, to recharge the battery very quickly. For example, it takes only 5 minutes – the same as drinking a coffee – to build up enough of an energy reserve to travel 50 kilometers within the city, more than necessary for average daily use. And fast charge can also replenish the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes.

The New 500 «la Prima» hatchback is therefore a veritable concentration of style and technology, directly aimed at fans of beauty, creativity and innovation. Just like its previous generations, the statistics prove the new full-electric model to be another international star: the pre-booking figures for the cabrio and hatchback versions show that over 80% of online requests have come from abroad.

In Italy in July and August, the New 500 «la Prima» cabrio – the Numbered version of which sold out immediately in the booking phase – has starred in the “Tour AntePrima”, a series of events at Fiat dealerships with one-to-one presentations to customers who had already pre-booked. Over 40 dealers across Italy have been involved in the encounter to get up close and personal with the New 500 and delve into all its details. Each day ended with an invitation-only evening event. Countless fans and interested parties have made the dealer tour a success, so much so that it was extended to the German market on August 17, with three “Casa 500” opened in France.

Turin, August 25, 2020

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